Golf Course Management

JUL 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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62 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 Grounds for change A golf course in the transition zone responds to years of drought with a switch from bentgrass to zoysiagrass on the fairways. The 2012 drought affected many golf courses across the country. The weather is always something we deal with, in good times and bad. Every season there will be times when the turf starts to look a bit "off " and things start to get a bit closer to the edge of living and dying. Typi - cally, a nice rain shower or a few mild days will come along to perk everything back up and make things all better again. Or so you'd think. At the Country Club of Decatur (Ill.), 2012 got off to a quick start. Temperatures climbed into the 80s in March and the golfers got to dust off their clubs a little earlier. The unusually dry, warm conditions proved very favorable for golfers and the maintenance crew alike. Sometimes, what starts off as a good thing can quickly turn into a problem. As the calendar rolled from April to May, then May to June, the lack of rainfall began to add up — or not, de - pending on how you view it. Although irrigation cycles can help, in the end it's supplemental and insuffcient, especially in this case. Decatur heats up The irrigation system at the Country Club of Decatur relies on city water. In most cases, a superintendent will view this as an inconvenience and a budget-buster, but a far worse case can happen: water restrictions. When drought comes creeping into any area, the farmers, arborists and superintendents are typically the frst to know. Of course, everyone notices lake levels dropping, but it's the guys Jonathan Pokrzywinski AT THE TURN (renovation) Warm-season and cool-season grasses coexist. As newer zoysia varieties begin to move north into the transition zone, the Country Club of Decatur discovered the cost savings, drought tolerance and playability of zoysia for fairways in central Illinois. Photos courtesy of Jonathan Pokrzywinski When drought comes creeping into any area, the farmers, arborists and superintendents are typically the frst to know. 062-071_July14_DecaturCC.indd 62 6/17/14 2:31 PM

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